Skip to content

Vasiliy Lomachenko on course for undisputed world championship blockbuster at start of 2023, says promoter Bob Arum

Vasiliy Lomachenko is currently due to face Jamaine Ortiz later this year in what could be his final step before a meeting with Devin Haney or George Kambosos Jr for the undisputed lightweight world championship

Vasiliy Lomachenko is among those fighting in Ukraine
Image: Vasiliy Lomachenko beat Richard Commey in December last year

Vasiliy Lomachenko is on course to challenge Devin Haney for the undisputed lightweight championship at the start of 2023 should both come through their upcoming fights, says Top Rank boss Bob Arum.

Haney currently reigns supreme at the top of the division after out-boxing George Kambosos Jr in June to clinch the belts in Australia, with the pair set to meet again in an October 16 rematch at Melbourne's Rod Laver Arena.

The winner of that fight potentially lies in store for Lomachenko, with the Ukrainian due to return to the ring against Jamaine Ortiz in October.

"A contract is a contract and in order to secure that fight for Devin [Haney], we had to agree that if we won - which he did - there would be a rematch in Australia," said Arum of the Haney-Kambosos rematch.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Devin Haney was too clever and too quick for George Kambosos Jr, winning comfortably on points to become undisputed lightweight champion

"Thanks to the help of the Victoria Government, who have put up a substantial amount of money, we're able to do the rematch.

"Devin has a further incentive because if he's again successful then he has heard the news that one of my favourite fighters, Vasiliy Lomachenko, is back in the United States and his whole family has left Ukraine."

Lomachenko last fought in December when he beat Richard Commey via unanimous decision to follow up a ninth-round TKO win over Masayoshi Nakatani in June.

Also See:

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Tyson Fury will 'answer the bell' to face the winner of the Oleksandr Usyk vs Anthony Joshua rematch, says his American promoter Bob Arum

He remains in pursuit of the world titles he lost in defeat to Teofimo Lopez in October 2020, after which the American suffered a shock loss to Kambosos Jr.

"Vasiliy will be in action a week or two weeks later, hopefully in Madison Square Garden in New York, where we'll do a big salute to the Ukrainian people. He'll be fighting Jamaine Ortiz, who is a good, tough lightweight.

"If he [Lomachenko] is successful in that, then at the start of the year we'll do what will be a massive fight - Lomachenko attempting to get all his titles back against Devin Haney."

Top Rank president Todd duBoef added, "He wants those titles. He's been carrying that Teofimo loss for way too long. He thinks those titles should be back around his waist."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Anthony Crolla was full of praise for former opponent Vasiliy Lomachenko, who has taken up arms to defend his home country Ukraine

Lomachenko had shelved plans for a title fight to return to Ukraine earlier this year when the Russian invasion began. Now, like his friend, compatriot and fellow Olympic champion Oleksandr Usyk, Lomachenko wants to represent his country as an international athlete on a global stage.

"It's an incredible human interest story. Someone conceding their own legacy and something that they really wanted, which was all the titles, it was sitting there for him to have and he's [thought] I've got to put my own needs aside," DuBoef said.

"What he did was incredibly admirable," he continued. "We don't see enough of that today. We see headlines with football players in the Premier League complaining they want to be traded from their team and NBA players and NFL players saying I don't want to play for my team anymore and I need more money and I'm not handled correctly.

"We just saw a real sign of altruism, a real sign of giving up and sacrifice for others."

Sulaiman: Lots to look forward to at lightweight

WBC president Mauricio Sulaiman has welcomed the opportunity for Lomachenko to earn a shot at reclaiming his titles, hailing the 34-year-old as one of the most gifted boxers in the world.

"That would only be fair," Sulaiman told Sky Sports. "He has gone through so much, just as Usyk went through.

"He went back to Ukraine, he has been there supporting his country, now he left to go train, he is going to fight in October.

"It will be very, very just for him to be able to fight for the championship as he did.

"He's been out of the ring, but he's always been a tremendous force. He's one of the best fighters in the world."

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Devin Haney says he took away George Kambosos Jr's dangerous attributes as he won impressively on points in Melbourne

While a high-profile fight with Haney potentially awaits, Sulaiman also warned "don't give up on Kambosos" as the Australian vies to avenge his comprehensive defeat on October 16.

"Haney is a tremendous champion, I'm so happy about Devin Haney and how he proved to the world his process was the correct one against so many critics that he and the WBC had to accept," Sulaiman added.

"But once you conquer and defeat you feel proud of how things went. Haney is a tremendous fighter, one of the best in the world without a doubt.

"Any fight, there is so much talent in the lightweight division, Lomachenko, Kambosos, (Isaac) Cruz, (Gervonta) Davies, so many fights that can be made.

"We have a lot of things to look forward to in this weight category."

The biggest fight in the history of women's boxing - Claressa Shields vs Savannah Marshall - is live on Sky Sports on Saturday September 10. Be part of history and buy tickets for the London showdown here.

Around Sky